Like millions of others this spring, all my hopes and dreams rested upon the youthful shoulders of a handsome youngster from California. To say that every year I become obsessed with horse racing would be an understatement. This year, well, can you just imagine? I’m not sure I would have worn a Chrome nose strip, but I might have, depending on the colors available…lol.
But dreams are meant to be broken, and life isn’t fair, and that’s horse racing. Having a Triple Crown winner this particular year of my life (Secretariat (pictured above) became a Triple Crown winner in 1973 just days before the birth of my daughter) seemed to acquire a lot more importance than usual. Even though I do believe an equine hero from humble beginnings might have done us all some good. Move over, Beyonce, J-Lo, and Kim/Kanye, puleeeze.
Well, that is, if the humble beginnings had come with some class. Unfortunately, for me, Chrome’s fall from the pedestal came not so much from his defeat, but from his owner’s continuing mean-spirited and unsportsman-like comments after the race.
When Secretariat was thundering down the stretch 41 years ago at Belmont “like a tremendous machine,” his owner, the gracious Peggy Chenery, during an interview said, that she was thinking at the point at which it looked like it might have been a two-horse race between Secretariat and Sham, that if Sham had won, it just would have been his time.
Of course, that never happened because Big Red went on to win a decisive (can we say 31 lengths) and record-breaking (1 1/2 miles in 2:24) victory.
Mr. Coburn might have taken a leaf from Ms. Chenery’s notebook and just conceded the race and been grateful he’s had a wonderful experience overall. Who got more love than Chromey and his team the last few weeks?
Thankfully no one got hurt, no horse broke down, it was an exciting and clean race and California Chrome made the Triple Crown memorable this year. Congratulations to Tonalist!
Secretariat, you’re still my hero.